by Amanda Roberts
I joined my current university mid-career. Having begun my teaching career as an English teacher, I ended this phase of my working life 20 years later as a headteacher of a closing school. I used this formative experience to set up an educational consultancy company, supporting the development of schools in challenging circumstances. Consultancy provided me with the opportunity to put into practice what I had learned as an educational professional. I was secure in my professional identity and felt confident and purposeful. In 2009, on joining a School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire, I was excited by the opportunity to develop my expertise in a new sector. However, the first year in my new role proved very challenging. I found it difficult to understand how the organisation worked or my role within it. The culture of the university, its language and structures were all alien to me. I was now an ‘academic’ and had no idea what that meant. I felt professionally disempowered and unsure of my way forward.
I was interested to discover that others felt this way too and that for many this alienation stemmed from their feelings about academic writing. Many colleagues appeared to place themselves in one of two camps – Continue reading